Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Balvin Family Day

Thanks to the generosity of Stephanie's brother and wife, our kids were set free in the amusement park at Mall of America today with unlimited ride wristbands. I would guess that Jacob and Izzy went on about 25 rides each (many multiples, especially the bumper cars, swings, and roller coasters), and Andrew went on many as well. The lone downside was Andrew's height because he was just a couple inches too short to go on a few of the rides he was excited about.

Today was a wonderful family time. It was so fun to watch the kids run from ride to ride, filled with excitement and anticipation, and it made Stephanie even more excited for a future Disney trip! We even topped off the fun with some Chipotle chips and guacamole...a Balvin family favorite! I'm sure Stephanie will have pictures and videos up soon!

Thanks Jason and Janelle for the great gift!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

In the clip below John Piper talks about his inability to take seriously the idea that the world simply 'sprang up' out of nothing. He quotes the Psalmist who says that all the world exists to shout the glory of God and that as his creatures we need to open our eyes and ears to see and hear it. At the end of the clip is a wonderful illustration as Piper describes the view of the ocean just over the railing at his hotel pool.

Have you ever had a day where you felt in touch with the Holy Spirit and the ubiquitous displays of God's beauty and splendor? Those are wonderful moments that I need to seek more often. I'm too easily distracted with the chaos of worldliness, instead of resting in the calm of His wonder. God gives me eyes to see you and ears to hear the heavens declaration of your glory today!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Born for This

I met with a guy on Friday who told me that, regarding his job, "I was born for this."

What an awesome idea! He is a guy living in his sweet spot. When we do the thing that 'we are born for' we find energy and excitement and enjoyment. Doing other things drain our energy, but doing what we're born for makes us wake up each day with anticipation.

Are you doing what you were born for? Why or why not? What keeps you from pursuing that dream? Have faith and step out to risk it. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dressed for Success

I think it was in college that I developed the habit of dressing up before important presentations and tests. While my classmates rolled out of bed and went to class in sweatpants and slippers, I felt like the better I dressed the better I performed. There was a correlation between looking good and doing good.

I have a mentor who is extremely passionate about dressing well. For him, taking the extra time to iron your shirt or shave your face says a lot about what type of employee and leader you will be. Plus, the axiom holds true - you never get a chance to make a first impression - so why screw up your career because you were too lazy to dress well.

Contrary to the old Canon camera slogan, image is NOT everything. Things like integrity, honesty, reliability, and results matter. But we shouldn't be foolish, image does matter, both in what people think of you, and in what you think about yourself.

Try an experiment someday in the next week. Get up on a non-work day and put on some nice clothes. Shave your face. Do your hair. Leave the sweats in the dresser. And see how much more productive and successful you feel at the end of the day; if nothing else I guarantee you'll feel different about laying on the coach with a bag of Cheetos's spilled in your lap.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Positive Leadership

I had a great conversation with a mentor who challenged me to keep increasing the level of positivity in my leadership. He reminded me that people take on the characteristics of their leaders, and that when a leader is negative or pessimistic people pick up on that and their subsequent performance declines.

I have heard it said that the simplest definition of leadership is this: leadership = influence. Negative/pessimistic leaders don't have much influence, at least not the kind of influence that leads to great results. Positive leaders inspire and call people to achieve things they never could have otherwise. There is an appropriate time for realism and struggling, but that time isn't when a leader is out in front of their people.

Be a leader. Be positive.